About Chichester Festival Theatre

Chichester Festival Theatre (CFT) is a well-known theatre in West Sussex growing in popularity and profit year on year.

The business is situated in Oaklands Park and comprises the Festival Theatre, Minerva Theatre, administration offices and the Steven Pimlott Education and Rehearsal Building. There are approximately 80 employees currently using the system at their busiest times.

The business climate in the theatre sector is competitive and, at CFT, they are always looking to reduce overheads, whilst raising their standards. Their mission is to offer exciting work every year and be sure that their box office can cope efficiently with the increased number of bookings. This is vital if CFT is to retain its customers and grow its audience in the future.

Chichester Festival Theatre

The system is very intuitive…very quick and easy to use”

Solar's Challenge

For customers to receive a first-class performance from the moment they pick up the phone, it is critical that CFT has good telecoms and IT systems. The last time CFT changed their telephone system was approximately 20 years ago when BT Meridian was put in. Since then, they have relied on simplistic upgrades.

The major drawbacks were the lack of reporting and flexibility. There was no auto-attendant menu in place. To make simple changes meant using a non-user friendly, TTY DOS based computer. The costs to maintain such an old system were enormous.

CFT wanted a new digital system which would be more cost effective and easier to manage.

The Solution

CFT recognised that Shoretel was the market leader and would give them the system they wanted which could grow with them over the years. 

Return on investment

More efficient operations: The voicemail system can be tailored to meet a variety of situations and the CFT stage door/switch board can see exactly who is in, on a call, or out of the office. This provides a better service for customers and is an easy, intuitive system for staff to use.

More flexibility: Voicemail can now be accessed remotely and calls can be routed to the right department. The main thing, however, is that it’s intuitive and super easy to use.

More productivity: The business is now able to handle more calls as the auto attendant filters calls meant for other departments.

Why Solar?

CFT chose Solar because of personal recommendation and its flexible approach and continuity of staff throughout the years. The install was smooth and superbly managed, exceeding CFT’s expectations.

For our employees, the ShoreTel Communicator is fantastic. The information that it provides to stop us missing calls is invaluable. The link with Outlook contacts is brilliant and very quick and easy to use. The system is very intuitive. We had 90 mins training for all our staff and a little more for our stage door team because they are less used to dealing with IT.”

Janet Bakose,Theatre Manager, Chichester Festival Theatre